Capstone Project Title
This project sought to answer the guiding question; what educational strategies develop elementary EL students’ academic English speaking skills? The project documents the creation of a curricular unit designed to provide EL students with ample opportunity to speak academically. The guiding question originated from the author’s observation that her EL students were speaking infrequently within their mainstream classrooms, and also further musings regarding the prevalence of this infrequency along with the importance of and best practices for academic speaking. From the project, the author concluded that 1) EL students in both mainstream and EL classrooms often are not given opportunities to speak academically or do not participate when given the opportunity; 2) academic speaking is important to the development of literacy skills as it provides students the opportunity to practice skills such as paraphrasing, clarifying, and creating unique sentences to express ideas; and 3) some best practices for developing academic speaking include providing enriching activities, fostering productive usage and developing deeper understanding of vocabulary, and providing scaffolds such as sentence stems and sentence frames. Created using the UbD framework, this enriching curricular unit focuses student speaking on an academic topic and develops productive vocabulary while also providing scaffolding for learning new academic vocabulary, complex sentence structures, and discourse level organization. The author describes the challenges of creating visuals and supports that are appropriate and cultivate the desired speaking skills. She hopes to follow this unit with another speaking unit designed to build on the first and nurture academic discussion skills.
Curriculum, ESL/ ELLs
Magistad, Pamela, "English Learners And Academic Speaking" (2019). School of Education Student Capstone Projects. 299.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects